Author: MJM Limited

The recent sitting of Senate has seen significant legislative amendments introduced. One amendment in particular that has caused great discussion is that of the property rights now afforded to Permanent Residence Certificate Holders (“PRC Holders”). For clarification, a PRC holder is one who has obtained a Permanent Resident’s Certificate by the Minister under section 31A or 31B under the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (the “Act”).

On 22 December 2014, counsel for the Corporation of Hamilton (the “Corporation”) initiated proceedings to challenge the constitutionality of certain amended sections of the Municipalities Act 1923 (the “Act”) (the “Proceedings”). On 26 January 2015, the Minister of Home Affairs (the “Minister”) exercised his right under section 7B(6) of the Act and provided notice to the Corporation that he intended to assume temporary stewardship of it (the “Stewardship”).

Bermuda has moved closer to equivalence under Solvency II (Directive 2009/138/EC) and the retention of EU market access for Bermuda commercial (re)insurers. The encouraging news follows the recent consultation paper published by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) which is focused on the equivalence assessment of the Bermuda supervisory system (EIOPA-CP-14/042). EIOPA has endorsed certain key aspects of Bermuda’s regulatory and supervisory regime subject to certain caveats. A notable area of required improvement includes those rules applicable to the supervision of commercial life (re)insurers. It is, however, acknowledged that the BMA has implemented, or plans to implement, rule changes to address these concerns. EIOPA’s advice is limited to the commercial class of (re)insurer being 3A, 3B, 4, C, D and E and (re)insurance groups. This is significant as it preserves the Bermuda Monetary Authority’s (BMA) risk based and proportionate approach to the regulation of the commercial market as distinct from its captive market.

In January this year we acted for the Plaintiff against five Defendants in a claim for damages for breach of a Sale & Purchase Agreement of a Bermudian fund management company. The Defendants were directors and shareholders of the fund management company and had negotiated a staged management buyout from the Plaintiff vendor. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants entered into an agreement with another fund manager to conduct business from their platform in an attempt to evade liability for ongoing payment of the staged purchase trailer fees (“the impugned transaction”).

Article 8 UNCITRAL Model Law In September of this year we acted on a very significant international commercial dispute where the question arose as to whether proceedings in Bermuda would be stayed pending the determination of arbitral proceedings in Canada which would deal with the central question of whether a previous settlement agreement extended to the Defendant and whether the Defendant had a complete defence to the Claim.

The 2014 matter involving the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Task Force (“BEST”) and the Minister of Home Affairs [2014] SC (Bda) 73 App (18 September 2014) raised interesting legal points as it relates to environment and planning law. The substantive matter is discussed in a further article by my colleague Jessica Kemmenoe in another post.

Cell phoneIn December 2012, I wrote an article on the case of Farnworth v R [2012] Bda LR 44 (151 KB PDF). This particular case provided guidance on the definition of a hand-held device which was in use while driving. Furthermore, it illustrated that the definition of ‘use’ with regards to a hand-held device was quite wide. In Bermuda, the law that guides the use of hand-held devices while driving is regulation 44 of the Motor Car (Construction, Equipment and Use) Regulations 1952 (the “Regulation”). This Regulation has once again come under judicial analysis in the recent case of Lincoln Raynor-Saldana v The Queen [2014] SC (Bda) 58 App (262 KB PDF). This particular case was an appeal from the Magistrate’s Court of Bermuda (Criminal Division) wherein Mr. Raynor-Saldana (the “Appellant”) was convicted for using a hand-held cell phone, namely an iPhone. Mr. Raynor-Saldana was fined $400 and given six (6) demerit points.